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Khoya Khoya ChandKhoya Khoya Chand : Movie Review
08th Dec 2007  01.44 IST
By Naresh K. D.  

One thing Khoya Khoya Chand succeeds in doing is transporting you to a different world. Now, whether you like that world is another question.

The film is a passionate tribute to the cinema and film industry of the 1950s and early 60s. And at the heart of it, there is a good story as well. Sudhir Mishra , who has shown creative imaginations of his retrospective eye in previous films, pretty much manages to take you to the colourful times of the black-and-white era, thanks to impressive art direction (Gautam Sen) and brilliant cinematography (Sachin).

What goes against the film is its long duration, and also the style of acting Sudhir told his actors to do. It is understandable that even five decades back into the past, in real life people would have expressed simple emotions like love, joy, jealousy and sadness in pretty much the same way as today. However, the acting styles in films may have been different. But in 'Khoya Khoya Chand' we spot the characters acting.

So from this point of view, despite all the technical finesse of the present age, the film has been made as a director of the 50s would have done it. This, my dear friends, could be a positive or a negative for the movie depending on your individual cinematic taste. For me it was a negative.

Nikhat ( Soha Ali Khan ), a struggling starlet with an over-ambitious surrogate mom, has to endure many ugly realities of the film world and please people to get her foothold in the industry. With favours from a big star Prem Kumar ( Rajat Kapoor ) Soha's career soars high, but in return she has to please him as and when he wishes.

In comes the struggling writer-director Zaffer ( Shiney Ahuja ), a man who doesn't mince words to sound pleasing to the gorgeous starlet. A bond develops between them as Zaffer helps Nikhat with her dialogues.

What follows is Zaffer and Nikhat's struggle, both as individuals and as couple, to deal with their tumultuous emotions, the recurring attraction and repulsion, the pull and push.

Though simple, the film's story has a strong emotional undercurrent arising out of conflict between love and ego, between affection and ambition.

Unarguably, Soha Ali Khan has been given a very complex role to enact and she does shine in many scenes. And after seeing how convincing she looks in the 50s makeover, you could be forgiven for thinking that she is born in a wrong age.

Shiney Ahuja has become a tad too comfortable in brooding roles. Not that he doesn't flash a few grins - but when he does so, you catch him acting.

Sonya Jehan looks stunning and performs at par with her looks. Rajat Kapoor, expectedly, sinks his teeth into his character and brings out its regression from morally depraved to distressed. Vinay Pathak , playing an assistant director, is brilliant yet again, while Sourabh Shukla, as a chubby financier, delivers some choicest of dialogues.

Another strong point of the film is its music by Shantanu Moitra who has composed tunes and melodies that bring back nostalgia of those times.

The problem with 'Khoya Khoya Chand' is that instead of giving us a few glimpses of what Mr. Mishra calls the "golden times" of Indian cinema, it floods us with too many insider tales, anecdotes, and incidents from that era. While not all of us may be able to pick every one of them out, there are strong parallels that can be seen with some of the celebrities or artists of the 50s. Zaffer's breaking down while shooting a scene and forgetting to say 'cut' is a clear reference to a legendary director of that era.

The thing is, 'Khoya Khoya Chand' is a work of indulgence. It is Mishra's grateful tribute to the times he loves. For his passion and for his meticulous attention to recreate that era, this movie deserves more than two points.

Rating: **1/2

Khoya Khoya Chand
Sudhir Mishra
Soha Ali Khan
Rajat Kapoor
Shiney Ahuja
Sonya Jehan
Vinay Pathak

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